Dellamorte Dellamore (****1/2)


(1994) – AKA “Cemetery Man” – dir. Michele Soavi – w/ Rupert Everett as the keeper of the cemetery, Francois Hadji-Lazaro as his faithful assistant, and Anna Falchi as approximately 37 different people.

Synopsis: Rupert Everett is Francesco Dellamorte, the keeper of a cemetery in a small town in Italy. He has a steady job, a more or less faithful assistant, and a minor problem with the people he buries not staying dead. Also, he’s kind of sick of the town, though that’s understandable; the mayor doesn’t really know what he has to put up with (the contant re-killing of the dead), the townsfolk spread vicious rumors about him (which may or may not be rumors), and his faithful sidekick isn’t much for conversation. Also, he’s not too lucky at love.

Review: Though this movie is often camp at its best, it also winds up being a curiously thoughtful film. I thoroughly enjoyed Cemetery Man, not least because of its dabblings in circular time and fluid identities. Time is circular here, but not simply because of the whole zombie thing, either; I don’t think it gives anything away to say that this is a wildly circular film. (Particularly since you won’t be able to tell what I’m talking about until after you’ve viewed the whole movie.) Identity is played with in interestingly absurd ways. Another interesting component about the movie is that the zombies in it aren’t particularly dangerous, an observation I seem to recall being made in some other review. While the whole life/death thing is pretty prominent in the plot, it’s prominent in ways larger than you might expect. The movie’s tagline, via IMDB, is “Zombies, guns, and sex, OH MY!!!” But don’t let that fool you, entirely.

Rating: [••••½] out of [•••••]